Dec. 6, 2020

Episode 46: Christine McHugh - From barista to the boardroom

Episode 46: Christine McHugh - From barista to the boardroom

Today’s guest is Christine McHugh. Christine first started working for Starbucks as a barista at 19 years old. Little did she know at that time that it would mark the beginning of her 27-year career at the company.


Today’s guest is Christine McHugh. Christine first started working for Starbucks as a barista at 19 years old. Little did she know at that time that it would mark the beginning of her 27-year career at the company. Her first job for Starbucks as a barista was when the company had 37 stores. 25 years later, and she’s leading some of the most important strategic initiatives for Starbucks across over 13,000 stores in the US and Canada. So, it’s fitting that her up and coming book is titled “From Barista to the Boardroom”, which is expected to be published next year. Christine left Starbucks in 2017 but certainly did not rest on her laurels. Looking for a completely new challenge, she took on the role of Chief Strategy Officer at Tangelo Health, a startup sports chiropractic and rehabilitation company. After successfully expanding their market presence and driving unprecedented revenue growth in her two years there, she left to focus full time on her own consulting firm. Her professional focus today is her consulting firm where she specializes in working with small to medium sized growing businesses in the services industry. Outside of work, Christine is an avid distance runner and is planning to race her fifth marathon next year in Chicago. I should also mention that she serves on the advisory board for Gritlink (which, if you remember, is the company founded by another one of podcast guests, Cortney Jacobsen). In this interview, we get into Christine’s time growing up in Alaska, her long career at Starbucks and stint at Tangelo Health, her current work as a consultant, and her passion for distance running.

Timestamps

00:02:51 Growing up in Alaska with a family of politicians

00:09:58 Moving to Seattle

00:14:20 Interest in working for Starbucks

00:18:58 Caught up in the growth of Starbucks

00:21:33 Times she thought about leaving Starbucks

00:23:33 Her progression at Starbucks

00:27:12 Standout projects at Starbucks

00:31:40 Why she stayed at Starbucks for all those years

00:33:50 Leaving Starbucks

00:37:43 Importance of having a support system as you grow professionally

00:40:20 Attaching her identity to Starbucks

00:42:05 Biggest takeaways from working at Starbucks

00:43:12 Tangelo Health overview

00:47:25 What she enjoyed most about working at Tangelo

00:50:03 Small company vs large enterprise

00:53:37 Starting her consulting firm

00:58:35 How she helps her clients

01:03:46 Ultimate vision for her firm

01:04:57 Starting her distance running career

01:07:05 Why does she run?

01:09:39 Parallels between marathon training and business

01:12:55 One big goal she'd love to accomplish over the next few years

01:14:34 Her daily routine

01:15:55 Her driving force

01:18:23 Parting career development advice